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Best AFO for Foot Drop in 2021 ( Review & Buyer’s Guide)

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Are you having trouble finding the best AFO for foot drop?

Then you’ll want to check our buying guide to discover the best walking aids for foot drag. 

Just keep on reading. 

In a hurry and need something right away? Check our top recommendations below.

Best AFO for Foot Drop at a Glance

FYI, this post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you make a purchase. 

Check this comparison table for a quick guide. Read the review for further details.

Preview
Ankle Foot Orthosis Support - AFO - Drop Foot Support Splint Right, Medium
Top Benefit
Shoe-fit
Rating
Check Latest Price
Editor's Choice
Preview
Soft AFO Foot-up - Drop Foot Brace
Top Benefit
Day and night protection
Rating
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Preview
Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace (Left Foot - Large/X-Large)
Top Benefit
More energy efficient than competitive stiff & load less designs
Rating
Check Latest Price

Best AFO for Foot Drop in 2021

drop foot means that you have difficulties lifting the front part of the foot. As a result, you might drag the toes along the ground when you walk. 

It’s not a disease but a result of an underlying medical condition, such as neurological disorders, nerve injury,  muscle weakness, and brain/spinal cord problems. 

Depending on the underlying issue, it might be a temporary condition or a permanent one.

In both cases, doctors might recommend splints or ankle-foot orthosis braces (AFOs) to keep your feet in the correct position. 

Fortunately, technology has improved in recent years, so the best AFOs can vastly improve the quality of life and allow people to stand and walk as before.

In some cases, the best foot drop braces might also allow you to get back to jogging and regain stability of every moment. 

However, finding the best foot brace for your needs might be a challenge. But that’s why we’re here to talk about the best AFO devices. 

The Best AFO for Foot Drop – Feature and Price  Comparison

1. Drop Foot Brace (Left Foot – L/XL) by Step-Smart

Best Overall Pick

Drop Foot Brace

Restoring your natural gait is no longer mission impossible thanks to Step-Smart and their innovative product that provides functionality and comfort at the same time. 

Step-Smart offers you a highly energy-efficient and competitive brace for foot drag.

It features a natural toe break, a 3/4footplate to retain feeling and flexibility in the toes, and bumpers for individualized resistance. 

But Step-Smarts beat the competition with their excellent shock-absorption and Jacob Joint technology. It strives to give you freedom of movement while keeping your foot stable. 

Step-Smart design provides resistance at the right time – at the second when your heel fits the ground to avoid damage and injury to your feet and ankles. 

The bumpers also provide three resistance levels that allow people with foot problems to find the right combination for their individual needs.

This AFO low-profile brace is also lightweight, easy to wear, and available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. It’s the perfect choice for people dealing with severe calcaneus pain and trauma.

However, some users complain that the Step-Smart model doesn’t fit their shoes/boots and causes blisters. 

BenefitsDrawbacks
¾ footplate allows easy and comfortable walkingNot very comfortable design
S/M/L/XL sizeIt doesn’t fit all shoe styles
Jacob Joints design shock absorption at heel strikeNot the cheapest option
Durable bumpers
Easy to use
Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace (Left Foot - Large/X-Large)
302 Reviews
Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace (Left Foot - Large/X-Large)
  • The best foot brace for drop foot
  • More energy efficient than competitive stiff & loadless designs
  • Maintains ankle action, feeling and flexibility in the toes
  • Low profile, easy to use & comfortable
  • Phone support to help you with adjustments and use

2. Medium Size Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) Support for Foot Drop by MARS WELLNESS

Shoe-fit Pick

Ankle Foot Orthosis

MARS Wellness has been a leader in the field of medical supplies and equipment for years, so it’s not surprising that their product is among our picks.

Their AFO features a 3/4 footplate for optimal flexibility and comfort for the toes. You can trim the thinner footplate easily with scissors to make it fit your favorite shoes. 

Its anatomical design prevents calcaneus (heel) pain/irritation and compensates for atrophy, and provides lateral stability and dorsiflexion assistance to ensure a proper position. 

More importantly, MARS Wellness’ AFO supports the entire foot-ankle area and has a padded hook-and-loop strap to prevent irritations and blisters. 

Thanks to the straps, it’s easy to secure the AFO on your feet, and the streamlined profile also ensures that the AFO fits most types of shoes.

The MARS Wellness braces are available in several different sizes and are suitable for both men and women. 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Provides lateral stability and supportIt might be visible 
Anatomical designRequires time to get used to it
For mild and moderate foot drop
Versatile shoe fit
Adjustable size
Great for nerve palsy condition and heel cord tightness
A padded strap 
Ankle Foot Orthosis Support - AFO - Drop Foot Support Splint Right, Medium
142 Reviews
Ankle Foot Orthosis Support - AFO - Drop Foot Support Splint Right, Medium
  • Designed to aid in foot drop that is secondary to CVA or nerve palsy as well as heel cord tightness, and to support the foot in a proper position.
  • Anatomical design compensates for atrophy and avoids calcaneus irritation
  • To be used for mild to moderate drop foot
  • 3/4 length footbed for optimal flexibility of toes
  • Excellent fit for most types of shoes

3. Soft AFO Drop Foot Brace by Furlove

Best Price Pick

Furlove Soft AFO

This soft AFO brace by Furlove deserves our attention because it provides ease of movement, stability, and comfort.

This model is free size, meaning that it fits most adult feet, so you don’t have to worry about ordering the wrong size. 

Moreover, it’s suitable for people with Achilles tendonitis, calf spasm, dorsiflexion injury, or plantar fasciitis. Stroke patients might also benefit from it. 

One of Furlove’s main advantages is that the ankle wrap is made of breathable, 3-layer material for comfort and sweat reduction.

The rest of the brace is made of velvet cloth, sponge, plastic sheet, and nylon. 

You can wear the AFO for long periods of time without worrying about blisters, skin irritation, or sores. It’s so well-cushioned that you won’t even notice it’s there!

Furthermore, you can use these braces with laced shoes, slip-on shoes, or even barefoot, thanks to the interchangeable inserts and removable sole! 

Moreover, Furlove’s assistive devices are completely adjustable thanks to the magic paste closure and the contact buckles. It’s easy to pun on/off, which is what you might need while in recovery. 

But what users love about Furlove is that the company gives you a lifetime guarantee and lifetime technical support! 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Excellent support and firmnessThe velcro strap doesn’t stick well, according to users.
Easy to put on
Made of breathable foam material and pleasant velvet cloth
Lifetime guarantee
Soft AFO Foot-up - Drop Foot Brace
917 Reviews
Soft AFO Foot-up - Drop Foot Brace
  • High Quality Material: Made of velvet fabric, sponge, plastic sheet and nylon tape,Cushioned ankle wrap that is made of breathable, 3-layer material which can be worn for long periods of time that is comfortable to wear
  • Day & Night Protection: The sole part can be removed during the day, and then used together with shoes with shoelaces, and the sole part and the ankle part can be connected at night to correct the use, so as to prevent rebound
  • Free size and Easy to Adjust: One size fits most adults,Contact buckles and Magic paste closures make it easy to adjust as needed, both OK for right and left feet. For the maximum ankle circumference: 11.8 inches
  • Suitable for People: Stroke foot drop, plantar fasciitis,achilles tendonitis, muscular dystrophy, Neuromuscular weakness ,etc. Revolutionary orthodontics provides visible improvement in gait that offers support for drop foot or similar complaints
  • Life Time Guarantee: 30 Days Return and Replace policy and Lifetime technical support

4. Foot Drop Splint AFO Brace (M-Left) by Orthomen

Quality Production Pick

The next splint on our list of the best AFO braces for foot drag is offered by Otrhomen. It’s suitable for drop foot due to hemiplegiaperoneal nerve injury, and sciatica nerve lesions

Stroke recovery patients who have mobility problems could also benefit from this brace because it keeps the feet firm and stable. 

Besides providing great medial/lateral support for the ankles, Orthomen also improves toe clearance and supports the entire foot area. It’s also beneficial for resisting spastic muscle tone, common in foot drop. 

To give you the option to adjust the brace to your leg, the manufacturer designed a brace of thin footplate that is easy to trim with scissors.

Still, the thick polyurethane on the vertical aspect gives your legs rigidity and firmness while walking. The padded hook-and-loop straps also ensure support around the calf.

Moreover, this AFO brace is light, durable, and available in four different sizes. Its streamlined profile also ensures that it fits most shoes. 

BenefitsDrawbacks
VersatileSome of the customers find it too small for their feet.
Adjustable to your calf
Provides lateral stability and dorsiflexion assistance
Supports entire foot and ankle
Padded hook-and-loop straps
Lightweight

5. Soft AFO Foot Drop Brace by BraceAbility

Soft AFO Foot Drop Brace

BraceAbility has one of the best AFO for foot drop on the market that can help you walk without pain or discomfort. 

The Ability brace is suitable for people with nerve disorder diagnosis, stroke, dorsiflexion injuries, or muscle disorders.

It alleviates foot and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, diabetic neuropathy, and Achilles tendonitis, speeding the healing process and restoring the natural gait.  

Furthermore, the Brace Ability has a low-profile design with an open heel to enhance breathability and prevent sweating. 

Moreover, this orthopedic sock is easy to adjust thanks to the long ankle strap. It’s made of medical-grade materials and features an improved toe box and an adjustable strap for a tight fit. 

Another advantage is that you can wear it on either leg. You can sleep soundly at night because the AFO is light and doesn’t compromise blood circulation.  

The Ability sock is available in small, medium, and larger sizes. The manufacturer recommends that you check their size chart before making a purchase.

However, you can’t wear this soft AFO brace with shoes and can only walk around the house with it. 

Benefits Drawbacks
Firmly holds your foot in the right position. Not suitable for severe foot drop conditions
Low profile Not the cheapest option
Dorsiflexion control You can’t wear it with shoes 
Made of durable polypropylene plastic
Breathable, open heel design
Available in all sizes

Sale
BraceAbility Plantar Fasciitis Night Sock | Soft Stretching Boot Splint for Sleeping, Achilles Tendonitis Foot Support Brace & Heel Pain Relief Compression Sleeve (Small)
266 Reviews
BraceAbility Plantar Fasciitis Night Sock | Soft Stretching Boot Splint for Sleeping, Achilles Tendonitis Foot Support Brace & Heel Pain Relief Compression Sleeve (Small)
  • TO CHOOSE YOUR SIZE – View our sizing chart (the 2nd image above). The plantar fasciitis night splint stretcher can be worn on your right or left foot.
  • NEW & IMPROVED (as of March 2019) – Based on customer feedback, we redesigned our plantar fasciitis sock. Now featuring medical-grade materials, a wider toe box, a longer ankle strap for a secure fit, and a more effective toe stretching strap to accelerate your healing process.
  • ALLEVIATES HEEL PAIN – Overtime, this dorsiflexion sock helps relieve foot and heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, and tendon arch pain, unlike inserts and insoles, which only provide temporary relief.
  • FOR NIGHTTIME USE – Wear this plantar fasciitis support while sleeping to improve daytime mobility. An adjustable strap pulls back on your toes, providing a deep, therapeutic stretch to your plantar fascia, allowing the connective tissue to heal properly overnight.
  • LOW-PROFILE BRACE – Getting used to sleeping with your foot in dorsiflexion will take some time, however, this lightweight night splint sock for plantar fasciitis therapy is likely easier to get used to than sleeping with a rigid plantar fasciitis boot.

How to Choose the Best Drop Foot Braces? A Quick Buying Guide

AFO braces provide the essential support to correct the position of the feet and minimize flexion. They’re among the most common therapies doctors recommend for mild and moderate cases of foot drop. 

Still, getting used to wearing AFO is a bit challenging. That’s why you should pay attention to the features of a product you are about to buy:

  • Breathability. Wearing AFO splints in summer might make your feet and ankles hot and sweaty. You want AFOs made of breathable material to avoid overheating. 
  • Quality pads/straps. They prevent rubbing and reduce the discomfort when walking. 
  • Quality material. You want AF0s made of durable material so that it doesn’t break or rub your legs sore.
  • Stability. The best AFOs for foot drop keep your feet stable without compromising the ease of movement. 
  • Visibility. You can wear some AFOs inside your shoes if you don’t want people to know about your condition.  
  • Solid vs. hinged. Hinged AFOs give you greater freedom of movement. 
  • Extras. Some AFOs might have ventilation holes to reduce sweating. 

If you don’t have experience wearing an AFO brace, it will take time for your feet to get used to it. So, don’t despair if there are no immediate effects. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you wear AFO? 

It depends on what’s the underlying medical condition and if it’s reversible or not. Your doctor should be able to give you an accurate prognosis.

Can I run with an AFO brace? 

Most braces are designed for walking and can break if you try to run with them. Fortunately, there are running AFO splints that allow you to run.

Can I drive with a foot drop brace? 

You could, but most specialists don’t recommend it, especially if you have a severe case. Moreover, your insurance might be invalid if you drive with an orthosis.

Can you prevent foot drop? 

Activities that compress the peroneal nerve increase the chances of developing foot drag. Avoid prolonged kneeling and crossing your legs too often.
Breaking a leg and wearing a cast for a prolonged period of time can also increase the likelihood of drop foot.

Conclusion

Now that you overviewed our list of reviews, we hope it will be easy to decide which the best AFO for foot drop is.

Wearing an AFO brace might affect your daily routine, but it will be much easier to stand, walk, and even jog. It can help you return to normal life and speed up the healing process. 

The best AFO for foot drop also provides you with convenience, support, and comfort. It helps you manage the symptoms of foot drop and return to normal life.

Final Recommendation

Just imagine how time-consuming it would be to search among all of the AFO braces online and compare them.

That is why we made this list and reviewed some of the best braces at the moment, hoping that you will find the best AFO for foot drop for you.

All of the braces we reviewed are great in many ways for your medical condition. But one definitely stands out from the rest.

We are talking about the Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace because of the comfort and firmness it provides to the wearer.

The shock-absorption heel strike, breathable design, and lifetime guarantee are also among the reasons why Step-Smart is one step ahead of the competition.  


Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace (Left Foot - Large/X-Large)
302 Reviews
Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace (Left Foot - Large/X-Large)
  • The best foot brace for drop foot
  • More energy efficient than competitive stiff & loadless designs
  • Maintains ankle action, feeling and flexibility in the toes
  • Low profile, easy to use & comfortable
  • Phone support to help you with adjustments and use

What do you think about these 5 best AFO braces for foot drop? Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comment section. 

About Dayna

Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a keen business sense to boot. She also has a knack for anticipating the needs of her readers. She launched LoAids as a way to help her own loved ones live life to the fullest in their golden years.

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